Using Lightning Energy

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Using Lightning Energy

Postby Assimilator » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 pm

Problems:
1. Transfer Rate
2. Predictability
3. Storage
4. Heat

Advantages:
1. Clean
2. Free

Are the technologies available to do this yet? Perhaps one of Marilyn's readers may hold they key to a new way of extracting it. Experts say it is not worth the effort yet, as discussed below from Wiki on Lightning:

Harvesting lightning energy

Since the late 1980s there have been several attempts to investigate the possibility of harvesting energy from lightning. While a single bolt of lightning carries relatively very little energy, this energy is concentrated in a small location and is passed during an extremely short period of time (milliseconds); therefore, extremely high electrical power is involved.[115] It has been proposed that the energy contained in lightning be used to generate hydrogen from water, or to harness the energy from rapid heating of water due to lightning.[116]

A technology capable of harvesting lightning energy would need to be able to capture rapidly the high power involved in a lightning bolt. Several schemes have been proposed, but the low energy involved in each lightning bolt render lightning power harvesting from ground based lightning rods as impractical.[117] According to Northeastern University physicists Stephen Reucroft and John Swain, a lightning bolt carries a few million joules of energy, enough to power a 100-watt bulb for 5.5 hours. Additionally, lightning is sporadic, and therefore energy would have to be collected and stored; it is difficult to convert high-voltage electrical power to the lower-voltage power that can be stored.[116]

In the summer of 2007, an alternative energy company called Alternate Energy Holdings (AEH) tested a method for capturing the energy in lightning bolts. The design for the system had been purchased from an Illinois inventor named Steve LeRoy, who had reportedly been able to power a 60-watt light bulb for 20 minutes using the energy captured from a small flash of artificial lightning. The method involved a tower, a means of shunting off a large portion of the incoming energy, and a capacitor to store the rest. According to Donald Gillispie, CEO of AEH, they "couldn't make it work," although "given enough time and money, you could probably scale this thing up... it's not black magic; it's truly math and science, and it could happen."[118]

According to Dr. Martin A. Uman, co-director of the Lightning Research Laboratory at the University of Florida and a leading authority on lightning,[119] a single lighting strike, while fast and bright, contains very little energy, and dozens of lighting towers like those used in the system tested by AEH would be needed to operate five 100-watt light bulbs for the course of a year. When interviewed by The New York Times, he stated that the energy in a thunderstorm is comparable to that of an atomic bomb, but trying to harvest the energy of lightning from the ground is "hopeless".[118]
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Postby robert 46 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:35 am

A thunderstorm gets it energy when warm moist air rises. Cooling and condensation releases the latent heat of vaporization which causes a large column of less dense air to rise high into the atmosphere. The churning updrafts and outflowing downdrafts contain energy in strong winds. So a passing thunderstorm can provide energy to a wind turbine. However, the center of thunderstorm activity is middle Florida, but inland Florida is not well-suited for wind power. Near the east coast where there are onshore and offshore breezes, and SE trade winds, wind power can be marginally economical presuming the turbine is not destroyed some year by a passing hurricane. Lightning is an impressive display of power, but infrequent at the right location.

A good source of natural power should be a reasonably constant reservoir of energy. Sunlight is ideal except for passing clouds and the hours of darkness. Wind and ocean waves are variable. Geothermal is reasonably constant, and tides are reliable. Hydroelectric is statistically reliable, but changing climate may lead to droughts. Economizing on the use of energy has a greater priority than locating alternative sources, but both are clearly necessary.

P.S. Here's some interesting info:
http://plaza.ufl.edu/rakov/FAQ.html
http://www.weatherimagery.com/blog/harn ... ing-power/
http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Lightning_Power
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/abo ... e_faq.html
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 838AArfErq
http://www.mikebrownsolutions.com/tesla-lightning.htm
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Re: Using Lightning Energy

Postby harada57 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:51 am

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